Refaçonner le marché monétaire

CAMBRIDGE – Le mois dernier, lors de la conférence organisée par la Réserve fédérale américaine sur la question du marché monétaire, plusieurs responsables publics ont déploré la fragilité persistante du marché. En effet, six ans après que les évolutions du marché monétaire aient failli mettre à genoux le système financier américain – et véritablement le système financier global – les risques ayant sous-tendu la crise demeurent encore aujourd’hui incontrôlés.

Dans sa nature même, le marché monétaire répond à la nécessité pour les entreprises et les entités à but non lucratif d’entreposer des liquidités, auxquelles elles doivent pouvoir accéder en un instant. Les universités ont par exemple pour démarche de mettre de côté une partie des frais de scolarité des étudiants afin de couvrir les dépenses imprévues. Or, ces montants s’élèvent à plus de 250 000 $, somme maximale pouvant être assurée par l’État sur un seul et unique compte. En quête de davantage de sécurité pour leurs liquidités, les universités peuvent ainsi être amenées à se tourner vers les bons du Trésor américain.

La démarche est simple. Il s’agit pour l’université de déposer ces sommes auprès d’une banque pour une courte durée, bien souvent pas plus d’une journée, la banque proposant alors un bon du Trésor américain à titre de garantie. Si la banque ne restitue pas les liquidités le lendemain, l’université peut alors procéder à la vente de ce bon, conserver les fruits de cette vente à hauteur du montant initialement dû, et reverser toute somme excédentaire à la banque. Une procédure presque aussi simple que celle des dépôts bancaires garantis par l’État.

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